First soak the gelatine leaves in some water until soft.
For the panna cotta, place a saucepan on a medium heat and add the milk, double cream, sugar and thyme, removing the stalks and roughly chopping first. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Into a separate saucepan, for the compote, chop the rhubarb into small chunks and place into a small saucepan. Add 2 tbsp’s of sugar and a squeeze the juice of half a lemon and place on a medium heat. Stir a little at first so the sugar dissolves, then stir less often so as not to break up the chunks too much, it should take about 7 minutes to soften through.
Remove the gelatine leaves from the water and squeeze out as much water as possible then add to the panna cotta mixture. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.
Divide the mixture amongst your desired pots and set aside to cool at room temperature. You can use moulds, if you wish, spooning the compote over.
Once the panna cotta has cooled, place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.
To serve, spoon some of the compote on top of the pots and place a sprig of thyme just to let people know it is in there!
The thyme is a very subtle fragrant element that compliments the rhubarb very well. Its flavour does not come through powerfully, so a little extra for luck will not hurt.
Don’t be shy with your thyme
Having rhubarb and thyme in this dish gives a British take on an otherwise very Italian desert. I did intend to use ‘lemon thyme’ for this recipe, however, when going out to my garden to pick a few springs I was faced with a little dried up bush where my healthy lemon thyme once was. Rest assured, I will replant, remember to water it and when I make this dish again I will give it a try.